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Category: Will Hooker

Dix Park: A Sustainable Living Model

    The design for Dix Park by MVVA is admirable in many ways, but I believe that it misses some very important aspects as we move further into the 21st Century. The park would serve Raleigh and all of North Carolina better if it became a model for sustainable living.      As a global culture, we have major challenges facing us. The global population is roughly 7.7 billion people and the estimates for the carrying capacity of the Earth is 10 billion people, with this number based primarily on the amount of arable land available for growing the needed food. One aspect of a park for the future is that it would have as a foundation a pallet of food producing plants. Yet the MVVA design is promoting the old saw of ‘a collection of native plants from all across the state,’ or where they are more specific, a botanical garden for shade loving plants.      We have two excellent public gardens, the UNC Botanic Garden which promotes native plants from across the state, and the JC Raulston Arboretum, which features ornamental plants that are suited for our area, including shade loving plants. What we need is a garden thatRead More

1/8/19 City Council Statement by Will Hooker

Good evening. My name is Will Hooker and I am a registered landscape architect and a retired professor from NC State where I taught landscape design for over 35 years. I would like to comment on the proposed Master Plan for Dix Park Thirteen years ago, I was involved with a group lobbying to keep the Dix Hospital Campus as a Park. With the hospital closing, the City was in the process of deciding what to do with the land. Because there was a call to maintain a portion of the land for services to aid the mentally challenged, my group felt that we would be okay for some of those services be kept, with the bulk of the property given over to natural park land.The City called a public meeting so that citizens could state their desires. The evening of the public meeting there were two microphones set up in the audience for anyone to make a short statement. As I stepped up to the microphone in my line the person in the other line was making his statement. He stated, “Raleigh needs to devote the entire 306 acres to a park, – no exceptions.” I was awestruck. ItRead More